Expatriates must be careful not to waste money

Readers advise expatriates to avoid the temptations of spending too much. (Charles Crowell / The National)
Readers advise expatriates to avoid the temptations of spending too much. (Charles Crowell / The National)

I refer to Nima Abu Wardeh’s article, Why making ends meet simply isn’t enough for UAE expats struggling with rising costs (December 6).

The problem is not with the system, it is with the behaviour of some of the expatriates and the wrong decisions they make. Many people want to live in a luxurious way – until they start drowning in consumer loans.

They want the best apartment, the best mobile phone, travel and restaurants, and they take out car loans, multiple credit cards, even personal loans for their furniture.

Expatriates should realise that they are here to make money and the banks are here to make money – out of them. Getting into debt is a personal choice.

Marwan Ayache, Abu Dhabi

Many expatriates forget to live within their limits. Borrowing to fulfil materialistic desires is a trap.

I have some advice for these people: it’s time to get organised and stay focused.

You should try to save 20 per cent of your income, which is possible, if you resist unnecessary expense and send the savings to your home country as soon as possible.

Stop borrowing from banks. Have zero liabilities. This will not only keep you happy but will make it easier if you want to change jobs.

Have a goal and try to achieve it before rewarding yourself with a holiday.

This is what I have learnt after 22 years in the UAE. I am not rich and I am not stingy, I just try to live within my means. I enjoy my life, but I am realistic about money.

Ajay Thombre, Dubai

My credit card bill is paid off in full every month. I don’t spend what I don’t have. There is no such thing as a “free lunch”. If you borrow, you pay.

Name withheld by request

Developers need to abide by rules

Thank you for publishing Developers in UAE marketing storage space as maid’s quarters (December 5).

I recently moved to Abu Dhabi and was appalled at some of the spaces marketed as “maid’s rooms”.

I am happy to hear that the government has put standards in place, but sad to hear that some developers are not abiding by these rules.

New developments have the opportunity to create new standards of living – for owners, tenants and their domestic staff.

V Rose, Abu Dhabi

Marriage idea a kind alternative

I was pleased to read Abu Dhabi courts consider marriage in lieu of punishment (December 5).

This is a beautiful way to deal with what is often a premeditated attempt to break the law by couples who have sex outside of wedlock.

I applaud the judges and the UAE courts for their attempts to repair a wrong in such a kind and gentle way.

B Kirkland, Abu Dhabi

Pre-marital sex may be accepted in some countries, but it is a crime in the UAE. As visitors to this country, expatriates and foreign tourists must respect this.

Diana Esca Dubai

New cars are not necessary

Your story End-of-year deals on UAE automobiles (December 6) is helpful for those who want to buy a new car.

However, I think people should just continue to drive the car they have. If you maintain the vehicle well, you will save money in the long term.

It is certainly better than paying big instalments on loans for the next three or four years.

Name withheld by request

Chocolate Burj a stunning treat

It is an absolute delight to see a scale replica of Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa carved out of ­chocolate (For the record, December 7).

Not only did it earn Dubai another new record, it proved that nothing is impossible.

Hats off to the creator of this model for coming up with this beautiful masterpiece that has left everyone stunned.

Fatima Suhail, Dubai

When I asked one of my friends in Dubai why they did this kind of thing, he replied: “Because they can.” Michael Marr, US

Published: December 7, 2014 04:00 AM

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